Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 69 - What is my most treasured possession?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

My great, great grandmother's wedding jug

Week 69 - What is my most treasured possession?

I have had to think about this a lot, well, what is my most treasured possession? I am not sure whether I have a MOST treasured possession but I certainly have a few possessions which are treasured by me, these are:

  • my laptop - all my family history research is stored on here (as well as backed up elsewhere), so I would want all that work to be passed onto someone who would like to continue it or be interested in the work I have already done

  • my leather bound bible - this was a 21st birthday present from my grandparents who are no longer with us, there is a beautiful inscription in the front cover which was written by my grandfather and means a lot to me

  • my great, great grandmother's wedding jug - the only heirloom I have from my mother's side of the family

  • my great grandmother's engagement ring - a beautiful ring which I wear occasionally for special occasions

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 68 - Memory Tree

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 68 - Memory Tree

Think of those who are no longer with us, who would appear on your memory tree (ie friends, family, pets, colleagues etc)

There are many people who would appear on my memory tree, some I feel I cannot share publicly but here are a few of the ones I wish to share:
  • My grandparents, all 4 of them. I was lucky to have a good relationship with all my grandparents in different ways. One of my grandfather's is still living although he has dementia and does not recognise me any longer, so although he is still with us - he also isn't, so I miss who he was. My paternal grandmother inspired me in my family history research, she would talk to me for hours about her cousins and auntie's and uncle's.  My maternal grandfather I would sit and chatter nonsense with him for hours and he would just listen. He was a source of great wisdom and had a deep faith. My maternal grandmother was also always there for me, she would keep me well fed with lovely home-cooked food especially during my student days. 
  • Dusky, my pet house rabbit, who lived to a ripe old age of 8 years old - he was such a cheeky rascal of a rabbit in his youthful days. He would jump onto the sofas & run around the living room, chewing wires, rugs, chairs, boots, throws & cushions! We once left him with my parents for 3 months whilst we went travelling and when we returned he would come and sit in my lap, it felt as if he had really missed us and was very endearing.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 67 - What are your priorities?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 67 - What are your priorities?

Quote from American author, Kathleen Winsor:

"Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to do what they want to do."

So, what are the things I would like to achieve and why? What are the things I want to do?

My biggest priority and passion in life is caring for my family, so I do spend a lot of time cooking, cleaning & washing, but I also try to make sure spending time with my baby comes first. Fortunately cooking is one of my biggest passions in life and eating delicious, nutritious & home cooked food. I would love to be able to teach people how make meals from scratch, to show that it is not hard or challenging and often can taste as nice as, if not nicer than the sugar/salt pumped ready made options available to us in the supermarkets. 

My other 2 major passions in life are:
  • my family history research, which does get side-lined due to family commitments and work these days.
  • my faith, so being involved with community groups within my locality is important to me as well.
Another priority in life is my job and career as an Optometrist, which has had to be scaled back in recent months to make my family life more of a priority, but it is still there on the back burner waiting for me to have more time to come back to it, in future years.

The quote above so describes me and my life, I often want to have a go at doing everything but have recently come to the conclusion that I cannot do everything properly so have been trying to scale back the things which I am doing so as to spend more time with my family and being able to do fewer things properly. For example I think my blogging will be scaling back this year to prioritise doing more actual physical family history research and also finishing the book about my Davidson family history that I have been writing since 2012. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 66 - What do you treasure?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 66 - What do you treasure?

A treasured memory of my grandparents
My treasure in life is my family and close friends, these are the people who mean so much to me and have taught and teach me so much through walking my life with them by my side. These are the people I learn new things from daily, who show me love, compassion and support when I most need it, the people who I can argue with or disagree with but with no love lost. I would not be the person I am now without these people around me.

I also treasure the memories I have with those people and especially with the family and friends who are no longer with us. The good memories of those periods of time which I will never relive, of holidays, gap years, university late nights chatting, playing board games with my family, weddings and other joyous events.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 65 - Colleges and Universities

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 65 - Colleges and Universities

Graduating as
Ruth Hogan BSc (Hons) MCOptom
I attended both university and 6th form college, with a gap year placed in between.

At Haslingden High School 6th Form College I studied for A & AS levels in the subjects: Biology, Maths, Music, Chemistry, French and General Studies, quite a mixture of different subjects as I was not sure what I wanted to go on to do later. I loved music but felt I did not want to use this as a career path, but loved my maths and sciences.

I went onto Bradford University where I studied Optometry which was a very vocational degree leading me straight into my profession as an Optometrist. In this degree I used a lot of the maths and sciences which I had learnt at College towards my degree but continued to use the music side as a hobby, playing in the university orchestra and at the Christian Union.

Working in an African hospital
The languages I studied at College has always been useful for my love of travelling, even though French was not used it gave me a great basis to learn Portuguese and later other languages.

I do enjoy my career, looking back there may have been other things I could have done, but I think I made the correct choices in life.

I loved my studying days more with the social aspects of college and university life and would say this period in life is one of my favourites, although I think I seem to forget the stresses of exams, essays and the hard work studying was at times.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Family Surname Christmas Tree

I would like to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2015...

Monday, 15 December 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 64 - Jobs & Careers

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 64 - Jobs & Careers

As I was thinking about this post, I was thinking that I just need to go back through my CV (or resume). 

Working in a hospital in Malawi as an Optician
As a teenager I never did get a Saturday job but I would get paid for doing extra jobs around the house for my mum and dad. I would catch up the weeks soaps whilst doing the family's ironing on a Saturday morning and help my mum with the cleaning during the week in exchange for a late lift to school when my classes started late in the 6th form. I would also occasionally cover my brother's paper round when he had a late night or went away with friends, which enabled me to collect a little more pocket money. I did used to love the early Sunday morning paper round when the weather was nice, as you were up and out before most people and it was really refreshing and inspiring, although I would not have wanted to have gotten up that early on a regular basis and especially when it was throwing it down or blowing a gale. I was not really interested in having lots of spending money at the time, so never sought out a proper job.

When I left 6th form whilst doing my gap year and during university, I managed to get a job as a Receptionist or Optical Assistant in an Opticians in the local town. The job was great work experience for my degree as well, as I was studying Optometry with the intension of becoming an Optician. Having worked a little in an Opticians I went into my degree with a little knowledge already and was able to practice some of my clinical skills later on, which really boosted my studying.

Once, I finished university I landed a job in the same Optician's Practice when I did my pre-registration year and worked for another few years post-qualifying. It was a great place to work, with a lovely laid back family atmosphere, although at time's the pace was slow and it was quite isolating as the sole Optician as a newly qualified Optometrist, but I really enjoyed my time there. It was the place I established my career and the people whom I worked with there really stretched me and enabled me to be where I am today.

At my graduation
After a few years there I decided it was time to move onto pastures new. Myself and my husband took a miniture break to travel, before returning and moving to work in a hospital setting as an Optometrist. The work here was much more challenging and motivating, there was much more room for career progression, although the early days were tough. I am still in this work place, although I now only work part-time but love this job. I specialise in Glaucoma and Paediatric Optometry, both specialities of which I really love and it is so rewarding, even there is so much more politics in the hospital setting.

I do love my work/life balance right now, I spend 2 days at work and 3 days with my little boy. I would not have it any other way. I still want to push forward in my career over time and acknowledge that will probably be slower now I work few hours, but there are also many other things I often dream of doing. I have a real passion for fresh, home cooking -  I feel many people do not know how to cook from scratch and have a passion to show people that it is not that difficult and that food and cooking can be tasty, healthy and fun instead of a chore. I also have a passion for hospitality and as a child always wanted to own and run my own B&B or restaurant - linked with my passion for cooking. Genealogy is another love of mine but I do not think I could ever make it into a career as my passion is in my own family story, but have considered how I could make a living from genealogy. I also have a passion for travelling and working in the 3rd world . . . but these dreams seem a way away at the moment, but who knows what the future will bring whether I'll be a one career woman or later a full time mum or will I have many careers? 

I do not know but I do feel as if the world is my oyster and I can dream, be driven and motivated to reach my goals and potentials, to make the most of my life and enjoy it!!